In January 2002, Section 8143 of Public Law 107-117 directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cleanup radioactive waste at the Parks Township Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA) site under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). The cleanup will follow the remediation process outlined in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and is consistent with the requirements of the July 5, 2001 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for coordination of cleanup and decommissioning of FUSRAP sites with NRC-licensed facilities. The CERCLA process consists of: Site Designation, Preliminary Assessment, Site Inspection, Remedial Investigation, Feasibility Study, Proposed Plan, Record of Decision, Remedial Design and Remedial Action.
Within the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) process, the Remedial Investigation, Feasibility Study, Proposed Plan, and Record of Decision (ROD) have all been completed. The ROD, approved in September 2007, formally provides the clean up alternative to be used at the site. In August 2003, April 2004 and January 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers held public information sessions to present and discuss the Remedial Investigation, the Feasibility Study, and the Proposed Plan. The Feasibility Study identified and provided an evaluation of potential alternatives to address the contamination at the site; the Proposed Plan provided the alternative that is preferred based on the results of that evaluation for the Parks Township SLDA site. As a result of input received from the public at these information sessions, the recommendations were reviewed, further evaluated, and included in the ROD. The recommendation from the ROD is to excavate radiologically contaminated material and transport the material out of state to an approved disposal facility. The ROD is available for viewing at the Apollo Public Library and the Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Office.
The Preliminary Assessment of the Parks Township SLDA, to review information to determine the need for further action to ensure the protection of human health and the environment, was completed in March 2002. On May 8, 2002 a Public Information Session was conducted by the Corps. At this public forum comments, concerns and concepts expressed by the community were heard and addressed. On August 26, 2002 a site visit was conducted for stakeholders and the Corps’ Project Delivery Team to familiarize everyone with the site’s features. This was followed by a Technical Project Planning Meeting (meeting notes) on August 27 and 28, 2002. Objectives of the meeting included identifying a project team, developing working relationships between the project team and the stakeholders, summarizing existing site information, identifying project goals and developing a general approach to site remediation. The meeting resulted in an increased understanding of site constraints and stakeholder expectations.
As a part of the on-going Remedial Investigation phase of the cleanup effort, the Corps conducted one-on-one interviews on January 13-14, 2003 with former NUMEC and BWXT workers and citizens who volunteered to be interviewed. Relevant information gathered was incorporated into the field investigation for the site. In June 2003 the U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center completed an historical photographic analysis of aerial photographs of the SLDA site between 1950 and present with special emphasis on potential disposal activities. Report findings were used to help guide the remedial investigation sampling program. Surficial gamma walkover surveys on the site were completed in June 2003 to identify areas with elevated radiation levels. Results of this survey were used to help select soil sampling locations during the remedial investigation.
A public information session was held on August 28, 2003 at the Parks Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 Social Hall. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers updated the community on the activities completed for the project and presented plans for the upcoming fieldwork. The presentation was followed by questions and answers. The Corps has prepared Remedial Investigation Work Plans to fill in the data gaps and was on-site to sample soil, trench content, groundwater, sediment, surface water and air.
A public information session was held on April 20, 2004 at the Parks Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 Social Hall. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers updated the community on activities completed for the project and presented plans for the upcoming work. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.
The draft Remedial Investigation report was completed in February 2005 and distributed to higher authorities and stakeholders for review and comment. The comments were reviewed and incorporated into the final report where appropriate. This final report was completed in August 2005.
The Remedial Investigation was followed by the preparation of a Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Study identified five probable alternatives for the site. Of these five, three were recommended for further review in the Proposed Plan. The Feasibility Study was completed November 2006.
The Proposed Plan evaluated the three alternatives recommended to be carried forward by the Feasibility Study. Of these three plans, Alternative 5 -- Excavation, Treatment and Off-site Disposal was selected at the alternative most protective of the public health and the environment.
The Proposed Plan was completed November 2006 and presented at a public meeting on January 25, 2007. Upon consideration of public, state and other federal agency input to the Proposed Plan a Record of Decision was prepared. The Record of Decision concluded that Alternative 5 was indeed the best alternative for the protection of the public and environment. The Record of Decision was completed and approved in September 2007.